This video recording of Fr. Michael White’s 2013 homily just before the launch of the book Rebuilt, reveals the story of how Church of the Nativity realized they needed to change the way they were doing things. It is the story of stopping everything, asking the WHY question, and then starting over.
Fr. Michael recounts the story of “Family Friendly Fridays.” It was at that event that Fr. White came to a realization of the deep impact of consumerism on the parishioners at Nativity.
Michael and his associate, Tom Corcoran, worked very hard providing more and more programs. The faster they ran, however, the more the demand rose. They found that the people in their parish were demanding consumers. They created consumers who became super-consumers.
What is the “WHY” of their parish? What is the mission of the Church? The why of their parish is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Christ gave us all a why; he said “Go, make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). The focus of everything they do, every ministry, is forming disciples.
The gravitational pull is always towards consumerism. Churches have become comortable consumer exchanges for the convinced. For this reason, they become irrelevant. As a Catholic Church, we have become irrelevant. When we make church all about us, and our comfort, then we make mass irrelevant. If parish life becomes about us, then we will never form new disciples.
Go, make Church matter to Catholics.
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